Woodruff's 2025 Comeback: Can He Return Stronger After Surgery?

Brewers navigate key roster changes amid challenging season

by Nouman Rasool
Woodruff's 2025 Comeback: Can He Return Stronger After Surgery?
© Stacy Revere/Getty Images

In what is without a doubt a bombshell news story out of Brewers camp at spring training, ace pitcher Brandon Woodruff has made it very plain that he is not going to be on the hill throughout the length of this campaign. The hard-throwing righty is now in place for a full rehabilitation and good comeback in 2025 following a major surgery on his throwing shoulder.

The decision comes after an operation in October that the Brewers first suggested could rule the All-Star out of much of the coming campaign. "Seemed to view the time away from the playing fields as a period to return to his utmost best physically," Woodruff said in comments to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"I'm going to be in the best shape I've ever been in because I've got a year to dedicate just to getting my body sorted out before I start pitching again," he said, full of encouragement. Hanging Hill 5-1 with a 2.28 earned run average in last season over 11 starts and out for four months with a subscapularis strain in his shoulder, the recurrence of the injury in the latter part of the season ruling him out of Milwaukee's NL Wild Card series defeat against Arizona.

Brewers' Strategic Moves

Thereafter, come November, when he is injured and his team control also expires in 2024, Woodruff is not tendered a contract and can become a free agent. He agreed to a new-look $17.5 million, two-year deal with the Brewers that keeps their ace under contract and covers recovery all the way to a potential 2026 season.

The losses are substantial for the Brewers, who are already without Woodruff this season after losing the Cy Young-winning arm of Corbin Burnes to a recent trade with the Baltimore Orioles. It was by some glimmer of hope, rather, that opened via the game of 2021 All-Star Freddy Peralta, who will guide the pitchers of the Milwaukee Brewers as they took on the season opener against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Peralta was outstanding in his last season, posting a 12-10 record with a 3.86 ERA and 210 strikeouts in 165 2/3 innings, an indication that Milwaukee has depth and solid hands on its rotation.